Seneca the Younger, Epistles

LCL 76: 52-53

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The Epistles Of Seneca

aptiorem esse ad bonam mentem quam quae se multis experimentis, longa ac frequenti rerum paenitentia edomuit, quae ad salutaria mitigatis adfectibus venit. Hoc est huius boni tempus; quisquis senex ad sapientiam pervenit, annis pervenit. Vale.

LXIX. Seneca Lvcilio svo salvtem

1Mutare te loca et aliunde alio1 transilire nolo; primum, quia tam frequens migratio instabilis animi est. Coalescere otio non potest, nisi desît circumspicere et errare. Ut animum possis continere, 2primum corporis tui fugam siste. Deinde plurimum remedia continuata proficiunt. Interrumpenda non est quies et vitae prioris oblivio. Sine dediscere oculos tuos, sine aures adsuescere sanioribus verbis. Quotiens processeris, in ipso transitu aliqua, quae 3renovent cupiditates tuas, tibi occurrent. Quemadmodum ei,2 qui amorem exuere conatur, evitanda est omnis admonitio dilecti corporis, nihil enim facilius quam amor recrudescit, ita qui deponere vult desideria rerum omnium, quarum cupiditate flagravit,


Epistle LXIX.

however, that any time of life is more fitted to the attainment of a sound mind than that which has gained the victory over itself by many trials and by long and oft-repeated regret for past mistakes, and, its passions assuaged, has reached a state of health. This is indeed the time to have acquired this good; he who has attained wisdom in his old age, has attained it by his years. Farewell.

LXIX. On Rest and Restlessness

I do not like you to change your headquarters and scurry about from one place to another. My reasons are,—first, that such frequent flitting means an unsteady spirit. And the spirit cannot through retirement grow into unity unless it has ceased from its inquisitiveness and its wanderings. To be able to hold your spirit in check, you must first stop the runaway flight of the body. My second reason is, that the remedies which are most helpful are those which are not interrupted.a You should not allow your quiet, or the oblivion to which you have consigned your former life, to be broken into. Give your eyes time to unlearn what they have seen, and your ears to grow accustomed to more wholesome words. Whenever you stir abroad you will meet, even as you pass from one place to another, things that will bring back your old cravings. Just as he who tries to be rid of an old love must avoid every reminder of the person once held dear (for nothing grows again so easily as love), similarly, he who would lay aside his desire for all the things which he

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.seneca_younger-epistles.1917